Town centre upgrade plans back on track

An artist's impression of how the town centre will look after restoration

An artist's impression of how the town centre will look after restoration

A trio of delayed projects set to provide a boost to Wigan town centre are set to get back on track in the coming weeks.

Council planners were set to have made a decision on a makeover of the Tower Buildings on Wallgate earlier this year.

But following a administrative delay, the Evening Post understands the scheme may be granted approval later this month.

A similar delay has beset plans to change the former Evolution nightclub on King Street into student flats but the town hall has indicated a decision may go beyond September.

There is a more positive outlook on the multi-million pound plans to revamp Market Place with officers close to announcing the exact dates for the works.

Earlier this year the Evening Post revealed the postponed plan had been earmarked for the early months in 2017 to avoid significant disruption for town centre traders during the Christmas period.

The plan for Wallgate’s listed Tower Building is for the upper floors to be changed in 20 flats and new office units.

Town hall officers had hoped to decide on the bid July.

The site - opposite Wigan North Western station - is a former Masonic hall last used in 2004 with retail units at street level.

It was designated listed building status in 1999 due to its “special historic and architectural importance.”

The application for the former Evolution site on King Street by developers JLP Design is for a ground-floor restaurant or cafe with dozens of apartments on the upper floors.

They will be marketed as student dwellings, planning documents reveal.

They state: “Due to the site’s prime location in the town centre we feel it would be the ideal opportunity to improve the diversity of the area and re-introduce residential living space into the town centre area.”

The £1.3m project for Market Place was unveiled in 2014 but has since been subject to several design tweaks with a large water feature scrapped.

Up-to-date planning information show the location will be split into three tiers, creating space for large-scale events, with the historic tramways that once bisected the town centre highlighted in the design.